Dunedin cyclist Russell McGarry had the Portsmouth Dr
shared path more or less to himself at lunchtime yesterday,
but says that is increasingly unusual. Photo by Peter
Cyclist numbers are on the rise on Portsmouth Dr since
new cycleways have been made in the area, in apparent
opposition to claims nobody in Dunedin cycles.
As part of the South Dunedin Cycle Network project, permanent
counters were installed in February to monitor cycle numbers.
A recent report to the Dunedin City Council's infrastructure
services committee said staff installed two of the counters
on main cycle commuter routes at North Rd, in Northeast
Valley, and Portsmouth Dr.
Senior transportation planner Lisa Clifford said North Rd was
installed as a control site because the council has not been
making any improvements to the cycle network in that area.
Over winter, when staff would expect to see a drop in cycle
numbers, as occurred on North Rd, Portsmouth Dr had had a
significant increase in the number of people cycling, she
''Earlier this year, we were regularly seeing up to 400 cycle
movements a day, yet in June we regularly [had] over 500
movements, and on a couple of days there [were] over 800
cycle movements recorded.''
She noted the new routes already built in the South Dunedin
cycle network provided off-road connections to Portsmouth Dr.
Some commentators have recently been critical of the city
council's investment in cycling, including businessman
Russell Fewtrell, who this week said the council was too
focused on cyclists ''but there are no cyclists''.
The council's finding was backed by cyclist Russell McGarry
yesterday, who said he cycled the Portsmouth Dr route most
days at present while in training for an event.
There had been a noticeable increase in the number of people
using the route this year, he said, particularly since the
path along that part of the road was widened.
''I think it was money well spent.''
While not a commuter through that area himself, he said he
sometimes returned from a ride around the peninsula later in
the day and the route became ''exceptionally'' busy with
commuters from about 4.30pm.